TEAM I CONFERENCE I RETURNING STARTERS I SKINNY
GEORGE WASHINGTON | ATLANTIC 10 | 4 | Australian for breakout: Junior guard J.R. Pinnock (13.4 ppg last season) averaged 25.0 on August trip Down Under.
November 21, 2005
ALABAMA | SEC | 3 | Unheralded playmaker Ronald Steele (2.46-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio) feeds league's top frontcourt, but Tide lacks long-range shooters.
IOWA STATE | BIG 12 | 3 | Physical East Coast backcourt of Will Blalock (Boston) and Curtis Stinson (New York City) will carry undersized Cyclones.
TEXAS TECH | BIG 12 | 3 | Reality show Knight School is filming in Lubbock, and electric guard Jarrius Jackson (45.8% on three-pointers) is Coach Bob's leading man.
ARKANSAS | SEC | 4 | Junior Ronnie Brewer (16.2 ppg), son of former Hogs star Ron, can play four positions--but he's a future lottery pick at guard.
KANSAS | BIG 12 | 1 | Welcome to Phog Allen Playpen: Four freshmen could start, including Brandon Rush, who described his game with one word: "Highlights."
WISCONSIN | BIG TEN | 1 | Will Brian Butch come around as sophomore? His coaches call 6'11" former McDonald's All-American most improved Badger.
CHARLOTTE | ATLANTIC 10 | 2 | Former Sooner De'Angelo Alexander shares scoring load with Curtis Withers, who added 11 pounds of muscle in off-season.
SYRACUSE | BIG EAST | 2 | Unproven forward Terrence Roberts (7.2 ppg) was surprise of U.S. under-21 team's camp this summer; is big junior year ahead?
BUCKNELL | PATRIOT | 5 | Kansas-shocker Chris McNaughton, a gigantisch German, returns--along with every other Bisons starter--for NCAA encore.
MARYLAND | ACC | 4 | With D.J. Strawberry back from torn right ACL, Terps will have a steady combo guard who is also tenacious on-ball defender.
OHIO | MAC | 4 | Forward Leon Williams (6'8", 255 pounds), who as freshman led Bobcats' surprise run to NCAA tournament, looks like next Gary Trent.
N.C. STATE | ACC | 4 | Wolfpack's Big Unit, 6'10" Andrew Brackman, doubles as ace righthander (4--0, 2.09 ERA in '05) for school's baseball team.
NEVADA | WAC | 3 | Defending league champs shun three-pointer (2.7 per game last season) and depend on ultraproductive forward Nick Fazekas (50.2 FG%).
GEORGETOWN | BIG EAST | 5 | Bigs are back in D.C.: 6'9" Brandon Bowman (15.1 ppg) and 6'9" Jeff Green (6.6 rpg) give Hoyas fighting chance in Big(ger) East.
LSU | SEC | 3 | Tasmin Mitchell is Tigers' latest Bayou-grown McDonald's All-American forward--and could be their third straight SEC freshman of the year.
OHIO STATE | BIG TEN | 5 | Buckeyes' future post presence may be Greg Oden, but their present, Terence Dials (15.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg), is league's top power forward.
OKLAHOMA STATE | BIG 12 | 1 | Juco transfers Mario Boggan (forward) and Jamaal Brown (guard) are key to Eddie Sutton's quest for his 800th win. (He's 19 short.)
INDIANA | BIG TEN | 4 | Marco Killingsworth, a 6'8" transfer from Auburn, should take Big Ten by storm, but frontcourtmate D.J. White broke his foot on Nov. 4.
OLD DOMINION | COLONIAL | 4 | The mid-major Andrew Bogut? Alex Loughton, a 6'9" senior from Australia, is reigning conference player of the year.
OREGON | PAC-10 | 4 | Juco transfer Ivan Johnson, a 6'8" menace who left Cincinnati after Bob Huggins's firing, will help solidify Ducks' shaky frontcourt.
CINCINNATI | BIG EAST | 4 | Mercurial point guard Jihad Muhammad will move to wing if freshman burner Devan Downey (36.9 ppg as high school senior) develops.
MIAMI | ACC | 4 | High-flying guard Guillermo Diaz (a youth volleyball star in Puerto Rico) leads backcourt-rich team to its first tournament bid since '02.
FLORIDA | SEC | 2 | Long-armed sophomore forwards Corey Brewer (46 steals) and Al Horford (51 blocks) give Gators, for once, tough defensive rep.
CALIFORNIA | PAC-10 | 3 | The Powe Show is back: Sophomore forward Leon Powe (15.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg in '03--04) has recovered from two major knee surgeries.
SAN DIEGO STATE | MOUNTAIN WEST | 4 | Aztecs livin' large with two 6'10" big men named Mohamed (Abukar and Camara) and 6'9'' Marcus Slaughter (17.8 ppg).
HOUSTON | C-USA | 4 | Tom Penders coached Cougars to 18 wins in his first season; now they're Memphis's main challenger in weakened conference.
CREIGHTON | MISSOURI VALLEY | 4 | Feel the Funk: Guard Nate Funk (46.9% on threes) leads Bluejays , who nearly upset West Virginia in '05 dance.
WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE | HORIZON | 4 | New coach Rob Jeter apprenticed under Bo Ryan and his swing offense in Madison but vows to keep Panthers running.
XAVIER | ATLANTIC 10 | 5 | Left-shin tendinitis hobbled forward Brian Thornton (10.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg) in '04--05; as a healthy senior he could be Xavier's top scorer.
DAVIDSON | SOUTHERN | 3 | Wildcats were relegated to NIT despite 16--0 conference record; 6'5" guard Brendan Winters is skilled marksman.
CAL STATE--FULLERTON | BIG WEST | 3 | With do-it-all guard Bobby Brown (16.8 ppg, 4.7 apg) at helm, Titans should earn first NCAA bid since 1978.
IONA | METRO ATLANTIC | 3 | Rucker Park--tested guard Steve Burtt, son of Gaels' alltime scoring leader (also Steve), is prolific scorer in his own right (19.3 ppg).
PENN | IVY | 4 | Man of Steal: Junior guard Ibrahim Jaaber ranked sixth in nation in thefts (2.9 a game) last season, when Quakers went 13--1 in league.
MURRAY STATE | OHIO VALLEY | 5 | All-transfer backcourt of Trey Pearson (Ole Miss) and Keith Jenifer (Virginia) could be dominant on mid-major stage.
ORAL ROBERTS | MID-CONTINENT | 4 | Caleb Green, double-double machine: Homegrown junior forward had 16 last season while averaging 19.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg.
EAST TENNESSEE STATE | ATLANTIC SUN | 5 | A housewarming gift: Bucs, led by 5'9" pocket rocket Tim Smith, will host their new conference's tournament.
WESTERN KENTUCKY | SUN BELT | 3 | Season is dedicated to guard Danny Rumph, who died from heart condition after collapsing during May pickup game.
WINTHROP | BIG SOUTH | 5 | Junior guard Torrell Martin (13.1 ppg), league's preseason player of the year, should be in high gear after March knee surgery.
ALBANY | AMERICA EAST | 4 | Great Danes are eyeing Vermont's old throne, but junior Jamar Wilson, league's No. 1 guard, must take better care of ball.
NORTHWESTERN STATE | SOUTHLAND | 5 | Balanced Demons (top scorer Jermaine Wallace averaged 11.9 points) return four four-year starters from 21-win team.
SACRAMENTO STATE | BIG SKY | 4 | Hornets have never been to NCAAs, but 6'4", 220-pound guard Jason Harris (17.5 ppg) could power them there.
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON | NORTHEAST | 3 | Forward Gordon Klaiber is threat inside and out (16.0 ppg, 46 threes); Italian centro Andrea Crosariol had 55 blocks.
HAMPTON | MEAC | 3 | Avast! At 6'11", Pirates center Bruce Brown towers above rest of MEAC; he shot 69.4% from field in conference games.
ALABAMA A&M | SWAC | 3 | Helter-skelter defensive system forced 21.4 turnovers per game, and senior guard Obie Trotter led nation in steals with 125.